Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel
preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid
to die? Does it speak to the broken
hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision
Is the church loved? Target 3300 wordsVideo = 75 wpm
The parting of the Red Sea wasn’t the only body of water that would be
parted before the nation of Israel.
After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, the Jordan River parted
so the people could cross into the Promised Land.
The language of the Psalm almost sounds as if the Red Sea and the Jordan
River parted because of the people being there (vs. 1).
But that’s not the full picture.
:4 The mountains skipped like rams, The little hills like lambs.
:4 The mountains skipped like rams
When the Lord met Moses on Mount Sinai,
there was an earthquake (Ex. ).
(Exodus 19:18 NKJV) Now Mount
Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the
smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.
:5 What ails you, O sea, that you fled? O Jordan, that you turned
:6 O mountains, that you skipped like rams? O little hills, like lambs?
:5 What ails you, O sea
It almost sounds as if the Psalmist is taunting the sea, river, and the
He knows what’s causing them such grief.
:7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, At the presence of the
God of Jacob,
:8 Who turned the rock into a pool of water, The flint into a
fountain of waters.
:8 Who turned the rock into a pool of water
After the people crossed the Red Sea, they ended up in a desert where there
was no water.
God told Moses to strike a Rock with his staff, and water came gushing out
of the Rock to supply the needs of the people. (Ex. 17:6)
(Exodus 17:6 NKJV) Behold, I
will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the
rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
This picture is that of a rock that some explorers have
found in an isolated part of Saudi Arabia, a location that seems to fit the
The rock is split down the middle
and the immediate area around the rock looks to be worn away as if by water
erosion … in a desert that barely ever gets any rain.
:7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord
The Psalmist lays out four situations that God dealt with.
Red Seas and Jordan Rivers that part are like the obstacles we face in life
that seem to have us trapped.
Mountains are the huge immovable things that seem to be going nowhere.
Water from the Rock is a picture of how God is able to provide for us in
the most desolate of places.
While the beginning of the Psalm almost sounds as if it is the presence of
the people that caused the waters to part, by the end of the Psalm you realize
it wasn’t the people at all.It was the
God behind the people.
There was a movie in 1980 about a new kid who moves into a neighborhood and
starts being harassed by the local bully and his “gang”.All the local kids are terrified by the
bully.Until the day that the new kid
recruits the kid with the baddest reputation at school to be his
“bodyguard”.He gets the bullies’
attention and puts them on notice at the local malt shop…
I love the picture of the small kid with the big kid standing over his
That’s just a tiny picture of the truth that God is the one standing over
NKJV) —27 Why do you say, O Jacob,And speak, O Israel:“My way is hidden from the Lord,And my just
claim is passed over by my God”? 28 Have you not known?Have you not heard?The everlasting God, the Lord,The Creator
of the ends of the earth,Neither faints nor is weary.His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak,And to those
who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be
young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the LordShall renew their
mount up with wings like eagles,They shall run and not be weary,They shall walk and not faint.
Israel faced the Red Sea, Jordan River, mountains, and dry deserts.
What kinds of things are you facing that discourage you?
Is God bigger than these things you face?
Psalm 115 – Idols
There are varying suggestions as to
when this Psalm was written and by whom.
Some say it was Moses, after having
been brought out of Egypt.
Others say it was written by
Daniel’s three friends who were delivered from the fiery furnace.
Others say it was written by
Jehoshaphat after having been delivered from the Edomites, Ammonites, and
The Psalm is about contrasting the idols of the world with the One True
:1 Not unto us, O Lord, not
unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your
:1 Not unto us, O Lord …
There is something inside of each of us that is looking for recognition and
significance. We like it when at least certain people pay attention to us. We
like it when people cheer for us.
But that tends to get us into trouble.
Glory is something that belongs to God only.God says,
(Isaiah 42:8 NKJV) I am
the Lord, that is My name;And My glory
I will not give to another,Nor My praise to carved images.
We don’t know exactly what Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was, but it
certainly was a difficult thing that Paul was going through.God allowed Paul to have this “thorn” because
Paul had been privileged to experience some pretty amazing visions about God. Paul
saw the thorn as having a certain benefit:
(2 Corinthians 12:7
NKJV) And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the
revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to
buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
Nobody likes to experience humiliation.None of us like to be “humbled”.
Yet humility is a good place to be.It’s where we see God working in our life.
(1 Peter 5:5 NKJV) Likewise you
younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you
be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for“God resists
the proud,But gives
grace to the humble.”
When you are proud and seeking “glory” for yourself, you
are not going to allow God to work in your life.
And that will have serious consequences because you are
going to be left dealing with all your problems on your own, without God’s
:2 Why should the Gentiles say, “So where is their God?”
:3 But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.
:3 our God is in heaven
There are going to be times when people are going to question the reality
of God’s work in your life.
Where is your God now?He’s in heaven
and He does as He pleases.
And I’m good with that.
:4 Their idols are silver and gold, The work of men’s hands.
:4 Their idols are silver and gold
Everybody worships something, even the atheist.
They may not give their “god” a name like Molech or Mammon, but they
worship something just the same. A man’s “god” is the thing that he’s
passionate about. It’s what he lives for. It’s what controls him.
Some people live for money. Everything revolves around
getting more money or keeping what you’ve got.
Some people live for pleasure. Everything in their life
revolves around the next high, the next thrill.
Some people live for power. They do everything they can to
gain power, influence, authority.
When man makes a decision to reject the obvious evidence around him that
there is a god, he begins to give up truth.
NKJV) —20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes
are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His
eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
A young woman teacher with obvious liberal tendencies
explains to her class of small children that she is an atheist. She asks her
class if they are atheists too. Not really knowing what atheism is but wanting
to be like their teacher, their hands explode into the air like fleshy
fireworks. There is, however, one exception. A beautiful girl named Lucy has
not gone along with the crowd. The teacher asks her why she has decided to be
different. “Because I’m not an atheist.” Then, asks the teacher, what are you?
“I’m a Christian.” The teacher is a little perturbed now, her face slightly
red. She asks Lucy why she is a Christian. “Well, I was brought up knowing and
loving Jesus. My mom is a Christian, and my dad is a Christian, so I am a
Christian.” The teacher is now angry. “That’s no reason,” she says loudly.
“What if your mom was a moron, and your dad was a moron. What would you be
then?” A pause, and a smile…. “Then,” says Lucy, “I’d be an atheist.”
although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were
thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were
darkened. 22 Professing
to be wise, they became fools
When people refuse the truth of God, they become foolish
and do and believe foolish things.
Last week we watched the movie “Origin”, and saw a pretty
rational case made for how foolish men’s ideas are when it comes to the origin
Men come to those conclusions because they refuse to acknowledge
the existence of God.
:4 The work of men’s hands
Isaiah talks about how ridiculous
it is that men would worship idols (Is. 44:9-20).They take a piece of wood and cut it up.With one piece a man makes his idol.With another piece he stokes a fire and bakes
his bread.Really quite ridiculous.
I think one of the most hilarious
stories in Scripture is that of the Ark of the Covenant being taken by the
Philistines and put in the temple of their fish-man god Dagon (1Sam. 5).When the Philistines visit their temple in
the morning, their “god” has fallen down before the Ark.The next morning, after having propped up
their god, he’s fallen down again and broken into pieces.
The Psalmist goes on to describe the “idols” people make:
:5 They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not
:6 They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not
:7 They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not
walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat.
:8 Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in
:8 Those who make them are like them
Becoming what you worship
Isn’t it strange when you notice how some people start to look like their
pets? Or is it the other way around?
I think it’s interesting how some people start to look like their spouse,
especially the older they get.
And then there’s the whole cosplay thing…
People become like their god, the thing they worship.
The idols of the people had hands but they didn’t work.
Do you think the people who serve that god ever
accomplished much in their life?
They had eyes, but they couldn’t see.
The people become blind to what’s true and important.
They had mouths but couldn’t speak.
The people who worship those gods don’t really have much
When people substitute anything for God, they lose their “senses”.They don’t care anymore.They don’t feel anymore.
I think this is part of what’s behind the pro-abortion platform.People don’t care about the smallest, most
vulnerable people in our society – the unborn.
We too become like our God.
He changes us to be more and more like Him.
Corinthians 3:18 NLT) So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the
glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like
him as we are changed into his glorious image.
Think of what He’s like.
God is light – He does His work in our lives to remove the
God is merciful – we become merciful to others.
:9 O Israel, trust in the Lord;
He is their help and their shield.
:10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord;
He is their help and their shield.
:11 You who fear the Lord,
trust in the Lord; He is
their help and their shield.
:9 O Israel, trust…
The Psalmist addresses three groups of people, encouraging them to not
trust in idols, but in the Lord.
Israel – the nation
House of Aaron – the priests
You who fear the Lord – perhaps Gentiles who honor Yahweh.
:12 The Lord has been mindful
of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will
bless the house of Aaron.
:13 He will bless those who fear the Lord,
Both small and great.
:12 He will bless the house of Israel
Notice the same three sets of people addressed.
Israel, house of Aaron, those who fear God
When we “trust” (vs. 9-11), He will bless (vs. 12-13).
:14 May the Lord give you
increase more and more, You and your children.
:15 May you be blessed by the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
:16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; But the earth He has given to
the children of men.
:15 May you be
The Psalmist is asking God’s
blessings on the people.
:17 The dead do not praise the Lord,
Nor any who go down into silence.
:18 But we will bless the Lord
From this time forth and forevermore. Praise the Lord!
:17 The dead do not praise the Lord
This is not saying that dead people somehow cease to exist.
The idea is that the highest praise to God comes from those of us who are
alive and living here on the planet.
In verse 8 we talked about becoming like what we worship.
Can you think of any more examples of how people become like the
things/people they admire?
Are there character qualities of God you’d like for God to help you develop
as you are following/worshipping Him?
There are several men in the locker room of a private club after
exercising. Suddenly a cell phone on one of the benches rings. A man picks it
up and the following conversation ensues:
“Hello?”“Honey, It’s me.”“Sugar!”“Are you at the club?”“Yes.”“Great! I’m at the mall 2
blocks from where you are. I saw a beautiful mink coat. It is absolutely
gorgeous!! Can I buy it?”“What’s the
price?”“Only $1,500.”“Well, okay, go ahead and get it, if you like
it that much.”“Ahhh, and I also stopped
by the Mercedes dealership and saw the newest models. I saw one I really liked.
I spoke with the salesman and he gave me a really good price ... and since we
need to exchange the BMW that we bought last year...”“What price did he quote you?”“Only $80,000!”“Okay, but for that price I want it with all
the options.”“Great! Before we hang up,
something else...”“What?”“It might seem like a lot, but I was
reconciling your bank account and...well, I stopped by to see the real estate
agent this morning and I saw the house we had looked at last year. It’s on
sale!! Remember? The one with a pool, English garden, acre of park area,
beachfront property...”“How much are
they asking?”“Only $2,450,000... a magnificent
price, and I see that we have that much in the bank to cover...”“Well, then go ahead and buy it, but just bid
$2,420,000. okay?” “Okay, sweetie. Thanks! I’ll see you later!! I love you!!!”
“Bye. I do too.”The man hangs up,
closes the phone’s flap and raises his hand while holding the phone and asks to
all those present, “Does anyone know who owns this phone?”
John gives us another piece of the puzzle with prayer.It’s not just about someone hearing you, but
it’s also about what we ask of Him.
(1 John 5:14–15
NKJV) —14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask
anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us,
whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
:3 The pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of
me; I found trouble and sorrow.
:3 The pains of death surrounded me
This is nearly identical to what David wrote in:
(Psalm 18:4–5 NKJV)
—4 The pangs of death surrounded me,And the floods of ungodliness made
me afraid. 5 The sorrows
of Sheol surrounded me;The snares of death confronted me.
The Psalmist thought he was going to die.
:4 Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I implore You, deliver
:5 Gracious is the Lord,
and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful.
:6 The Lord preserves the
simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.
:6 The Lord preserves the
the simple – pethiy –
simple, foolish, open-minded
I’m a little more “foolish” than I’d like to admit at times.He can still preserve me.
(Psalm 116:6 NLT) The Lord protects those of childlike faith;
I was facing death, and he saved me.
low – dalal
– to hang, languish, hang down, be low
:7 Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
:7 Return to your rest, O my soul
Prayer and peace
This Psalm is about prayer.
Prayer brings peace.
NLT) —6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell
God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you
will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His
peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
It’s easy for me as a preacher to tell you this, but it’s not always easy
to experience God’s peace.
We need to truly put the issues of our lives in His hands and trust Him.
:8 For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And
my feet from falling.
:9 I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.
:9 I will walk before the Lord
Even though the Psalmist is going through scary times, worried about his future,
he is confident that God will continue to allow him to live.
:10 I believed, therefore I spoke, “I am greatly afflicted.”
:11 I said in my haste, “All men are liars.”
:10 I believed, therefore I spoke
A word of faith
Even though the Psalmist is greatly afflicted, and convinced that all men
are liars, he believes that God will help him, and that is why he’s speaking
Paul used this same verse to describe his own faith in going through
4:7–18 NKJV) —7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence
of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are
perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—10 always
carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus
also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that
the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then
death is working in us, but life in you.
As believers, we have the treasure of God’s light inside
our frail human bodies.
Sometimes the only way people will see the treasure of
God’s light inside of us is when we are cracked or broken, allowing Jesus to
Paul will then quote our verse…
13 And since we
have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and
therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that
He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will
present us with you.
Just like the Psalmist, Paul is trusting that God is going
to get him through his own difficult time, even if it’s raising him from the
This is why he speaks up and declares his trust in God.
15 For all
things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many,
may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we
do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man
is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for
us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do
not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.
For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are
not seen are eternal.
I am not using the phrase “word of faith” in the same way that some
positive confession teachers use it.
They will say that we someone create good things by “speaking” them out.
This is about learning to encourage ourselves with what is true.
Sometimes we tend to say silly things that just aren’t true, and sometimes those
negative falsehoods only tend to make us upset, anxious, and depressed.
We’ve got some pretty cool things that we should be holding on to like the
(Romans 8:28 NKJV) And we know
that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are
the called according to His purpose.
:12 What shall I render to the LordFor all His benefits toward me?
:13 I will take up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the Lord.
:13 I will take up the cup of salvation
How do we respond to God for all the good that He does for us?
We take the cup of salvation and call on His name.
Many suggest that this “cup” might be a drink offering given in gratitude
to God for His salvation. (Lev. 23:13; Num. 15:5; 28:7)
(Leviticus 23:13 NKJV) Its grain
offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with
oil, an offering made by fire to the Lord,
for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth
of a hin.
(Numbers 15:5 NKJV) —5 and
one-fourth of a hin of wine as a drink offering you shall prepare with the
burnt offering or the sacrifice, for each lamb.
(Numbers 28:7 NKJV) —7 And its
drink offering shall be one-fourth of a hin for each lamb; in a holy place
you shall pour out the drink to the Lord
as an offering.
Yet since these Psalms were connected to the Passover celebration, and
there were four special “cups” of wine involved in the Passover.
During the Seder, the Passover meal, four cups of wine were drunk.
The first cup was called Kiddush,
or the cup of “sanctification”.
The second cup was called Maggid,
the cup of “deliverance”.
The third cup was called Birkat
Hamazon and was drunk after the meal. It was known as the “cup of
At Jesus’ Last Supper, He took the third cup and said,
22:20 NKJV) Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This
cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
The fourth cup was called Hallel,
or the cup of “praise”.
Perhaps the “cup of salvation” is a prophetic picture of what Jesus would
Our cup at communion is to remind us that Jesus died for us, shed His blood
for us, in order to pay for our sins.
How do we respond to all the good things God has done for us?
We take the “cup of salvation”, we receive the salvation
that God has provided for us.
We receive the salvation of Jesus.
:14 I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people.
If God has been kind to you, then keep your promises to the Lord.
:15 Precious in the sight of the LordIs the death of His saints.
:15 Precious in the sight of the LordIs the death of His saints
The Psalmist is declaring that God doesn’t take our death lightly.
The Believer’s Death
As humans, because we don’t really understand death, we get all stressed
out about death and it’s something we work hard to avoid.
To God, our death is precious, and perhaps that’s because of what happens
to us at death.
As believers, when we die we go home to be with Him immediately.
(Philippians 1:23 NKJV) —23 For I am
hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which
is far better.
5:6–8 NKJV) —6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at
home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are
confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be
present with the Lord.
Look at the kinds of things that happen when we are present with Him:
NKJV) —15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and
night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall
neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor
any heat; 17 for the Lamb
who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living
fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Death is not something to fear.
:16 O Lord, truly I am
Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have
loosed my bonds.
:17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon
the name of the Lord.
:18 I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people,
:19 In the courts of the Lord’s
house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!
:19 Praise the Lord!
the Hebrew is “hallelu-jah”
In verse 10 we talked about knowing a “word of faith”.
Can you think of other promises that are important to cling to, that can
help us when we’re discouraged?